john g. slaby’s slow summer macadam at deep space gallery.

This past weekend we attended the opening for John G. Slaby’s show “Slow Summer Macadam” at Deep Space Gallery and it was the highlight of our Saturday night.

I’ll go ahead and say it: Saturday was the best day of our collective lives in 4 years. Things are looking up! It was also a beautiful day weather-wise in the northeast. People were out and about, and they were PUMPED. An art opening was the perfect place to be!

And the art was GREAT. I’m no profesh and my opinion does not matter but as a casual art observer I was INTO IT.

skies.

Almost all of the pieces I really enjoyed had some aspect of a colorful sky in them. Like a super bright cloudless blue or a post-sunset twilight pink/purple. The paint colors for the skies took me to A PLACE.

animals.

Many of the pieces of art had animals! You know how I feel about animals, you guys. So each of the following pieces of art will come with an unsolicited personal story about an animal or two. You’re welcome.

Bats!

This one with the bats was my most favorite in the whole show. I LOVE THESE BATS. Maybe it’s because I’m still feeling a residual “spooky time of the year” feeling. It’s a good feeling to feel.

Part of the theme of the show was this nostalgia regarding growing up in a rural/suburban kind of place and being out and about with pals getting into trouble or wishing there was maybe just a tiny bit of trouble to get into but it was too boring for even that to happen. I guess that’s my personal interpretation of that kind of nostalgia. BUT part of being outside when the night falls and you’re hoping for some (good) trouble is that the bats start to come out! Like they’re flying around in their super fun erratic way and you’re like, “THE NIGHT HAS ARRIVEDDDDD!”

Also I just learned a bit about bats in a webinar I attended a couple of weeks ago that Wild Bird Fund put on. Completely unrelated to art but I learned some cool stuff about bats and what “torpor” means and what to do if you find a sleepy/injured/acting weird bat to help it. So like, I’m flying high on bats right now.

Bird nest and mouse!

My second favorite painting was this one of a “School” sign featuring a huge mess a bird made just by living there and a cute little mouse looking on in the bottom corner.

I just love how the bird nest is all haphazard and the bird(s) just went to the bathroom all over the whole thing. Because that’s what birds do. I love birds but they’re a huge mess.

It’s a super mundane every day thing, the bird mess on a public building, and I found a weird comfort in looking at that. Kind of like when I see pigeons roosting (also making a HUGE mess) under the awnings over top of bodega windows. Birds are just hanging out and watching us and making a mess. That’s their life.

The tiny mouse peeking in also made me glad. I currently have a mouse in my house and for now he’s my friend. He hasn’t eaten anything or chewed anything or even made a mess so I’m not mad at him. I also only see him once a week or so. Anyway I love the mouse. Yes, I knowingly live with a mouse. I SAID he stays out of the way. Deal with it.

The last of the animal friend paintings I noticed was this one that includes a TON of animal friends looking on.

I talked to Slaby a little about the animals and how much I loved them and he mentioned he included them because animals are always around and observing us. And he’s right! I love that. I don’t know what else to say besides, “I love that.” Hopefully that’s enough. Even in a city the animals are always around.

This painting looked like it had raccoons in it and I was like, “I have two raccoons that live on my roof and hang out on my fire escape!” Then I realized that sounds weird. Maybe. But then the artist was like, “Yeah raccoons are cool, they’re so BAD.” But like good bad because they are HILARIOUS and ADORABLE. I said the “hilarious and adorable” part inside my head but I feel we were on the same page regarding general raccoon bad-assery and I was pleased.

scary catholic.

“Scary Catholic” is a genre of art I invented and some of Slaby’s art in this show fit the description. Maybe I didn’t invent it. I don’t know. Google it.

There was a small section of “Scary Catholic” that looked different from the other art. I believe he said it was inspired by a childhood of Catholic school and altar boy duties.

The artist graciously welcomes chatting next to the Scary Catholic.

One of the pieces was a rosary made out of skateboard wheels, YOU KNOW I loved that.

But “Scary Catholic” is scary because Catholicism is scary to me. Religion in general is terrifying but Catholicism does a good job of making stuff look super creepy and sometimes bloody. But also very richly colored! Which makes it art!

This leather jacket is so badass but I’m still scared of the Jesus. Or whoever.

influence.

I’m totally going to paraphrase because I had a few drinks and didn’t write this down, but another topic Slaby was kind enough to discuss with us was the concept of influence and how certain ideas/cultures end up in places that seem unlikely. He talked about growing up near Wilkes-Barre, PA in the 90s before the internet as we know it now, and how it took “someone visiting their cousin in the city and then bringing it back” for him and his friends to learn more about skateboarding culture.

This was relatable, as I also lived in the middle of nowhere with limited outside influence and I remember the first time I made friends with kids from Bergen County at Rutgers and I was like “Where are they GETTING these clothes because I NEED them” <Goes to Garden State Plaza for the first time in 2004 and buys all of Bebe>. I mean skateboarding and North Jersey Mall Culture are two completely different things but like, I GET it. It has to come from somewhere, when you’re from nowhere. And that was a mind blowing thing to make art about.

macadam.

I should have asked about this as well but I had no idea what “macadam” meant. I googled it just now and it says “Because of the historic use of macadam as a road surface, roads in some parts of the United States (as parts of Pennsylvania) are often referred to as macadam, even though they might be made of asphalt or concrete.” So I guess that makes sense. There was one piece that was very… road inspired. PS Pennsylvania is HAVING A MOMENT right now.

I really liked the texture!

And I guess you do need asphalt/concrete/macadam for the skateboarding. As I’ve said before I’m a skateboarding admirer to the core but I don’t REALLY know anything about it.

So that was the show! I also got these really fun skull stickers. Not part of the show, but now part of my life.

John G. Slaby’s Slow Summer Macadam is at Deep Space Gallery until 11/29. Slide into their DMs on Instagram at @deepspacejc to set up a time to visit and GET UR BUTT THERE.

kyle orlando – always nervous at deep space gallery.

Last week I had a ladies night with my pals that set me up for a weekend-party-shan-spiral I’ve only just recovered from. BUT I was fortunately able to make it to Kyle Orlando – Always Nervous at Deep Space Gallery.

The show was great and I was glad I saw it, albeit only for a quick moment while I stood there, exhausted, and stared at the art and smiled softly. As I thought about how sleepy I was and almost fell asleep right there. And it was my own fault. Because alcohol is a depressant.

But I was there! And I loved it!

I always love it. Deep Space is one of my top 5 fav places in JC and that says a lot because I love 94% of the stuff in this gosh darn town.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to chat with the artist because I was a walking zombie but he was there for questions, and if I had been able to speak I would have said, “What kinda cat is this?”

The cat appears to be like a leopard or a cheetah or a jaguar? But then there’s some confusing thing with panthers where some of them have spots? And “panther” means the same as one of the other things? And “puma” is in there somewhere? I get confused with these cats. Maybe he’s just a generic kind of cartoon cat created for art purposes only that doesn’t have a species? Which like, is totally fine. I’ll allow it.

The “Always Nervous” cat, as I would like to refer to him, is a fun animal to have on hand and have him get into all sorts of shenanigans and that’s what I felt like each piece of art was.

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Jumps Over a Rainbow.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Hangs From a Tree in a (hopefully?) Playful Way.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat IS America.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Can Also be Pink and Hey Shanimal I Know You LOVE Pink.” Ugh I do. I loved this one best.

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat in Marker on a Tote Bag and That’s Cool AF.” Okay jk I liked the tote bags best.

These silly titles I used are not what these paintings are called but what I took from them and that’s something very positive. LOVED IT. It’s interesting to see the same thing but in a bunch of totally different ways, in different colors with different things around it. You know, the same but…DIFFERENT.

Additionally if I had been alive that day I would have asked Kyle Orlando, “Hey why is it called ‘Always Nervous’?” Because I am mostly always nervous and relate to that on a personal level. I’m sure I could look it up or ask the nice folks at Deep Space. Or even ask Kyle Orlando because you can find him on Instagram at @klando.

Hey how about maybe you go ask him?! I’m feeling shy.

Overall I loved this show. Of course, I already said that. But I’d like to say it more. I thought the gallery looked really cool with all these Mr. Nervous Cats around. Also I hadn’t been there in the day time for a while so it looked really pretty with the sun shining in and when I looked out the back window it looked like I was in the forest somewhere and not even in Jersey City. I never noticed that. Weird!

The next show at Deep Space is a big one and everyone is very freakin pumped about it. It’s called Reaching for the Steal and has work by Jersey City’s own Distort.

Opening weekend is next weekend! Oct. 2 4-11pm, Oct. 3 12-11pm, and Oct. 4 12-8pm.

They’re social distancing pros at Deep Space so email deepspaceJC@gmail.com or slide into the DMs – @deepspacejc to set up a time to go.

I’LL SEE YOU THERE FOLKS. AND I WON’T BE TIRED THIS TIME.

waiting for sunshine at deep space gallery.

YOU GUYS. Not only was I excited to actually leave my house for a destination other than JC Bourbon Street, but I was excited to get back to checking out the bad ass art at Deep Space Gallery. On a Saturday afternoon…late afternoon, because I was late…I attended the opening for Waiting for Sunshine at Deep Space Gallery, showcasing art by Rebecca Johnson and Macauley Norman. I apologize for not posting about it until now, but my brain has just been really tired.

Before you get all FREAKED OUT, this was a socially distanced opening and all of the precautions were taken. Frankly they straight up EXCELLED at the precautions. There was hand sanitizer and masks and you signed in on a little sign-in sheet and only a certain number of people were allowed inside at a time.

SO JUST CALM DOWN.

The best part was that we got back to art! I really, really missed going out and looking at art with my pals, and I especially missed going to Deep Space because it’s my favorite place to go look at art with my pals.

The gallery looked beautiful! It actually was really cool to see everything without other people in the way. I mean, I do like other people but sometimes they’re in the way. Actually, I’m lying. As a rule I DO NOT like other people. Either way there was lots of space for me to roam around and look at the art!

You may be aware that I REALLY LIKE BRIGHT COLORS and they held no punches on the bright colors with this one. Both artists’ works were vibrant and resplendent, some were even glittering and sparkling! Also there was yarn.

I love yarn.

macauley norman.

I always like to chat with Macauley when I run into him at Deep Space and this opening was no different! Always good for a chat, that guy.

His art was also good! As I mentioned, there was yarn. He brought the yarn.

A few months ago I attended a store opening and they had some hats there I thought were knit and someone corrected me and was like, “They are CROCHETED,” and I googled it and they were right. So I was really embarrassed. They weren’t mean or anything, I just hate not knowing things. So when I was asking Macauley about his work involving yarn I was like, “Is that crochet?” When it actually seemed quite obviously knit but I no longer trust my own brain.

Anyway he confirmed that it was knit and I thought it was a badass method of mixing media. And I was also glad I was right this time. In my mind.

Along with the knitting/weaving, many of the pieces had spiders in them! I also really like spiders but I realize I’m in the minority. Macauley talked to me about how he was a little worried that the spiders would be off-putting for some…which was a good point.

But I say SPIDER AWAY. Because they also knit. They’re knitters of nature! They knit webs, you guys.

Another fun part of some of his work was friendship bracelets! I’m telling you, the medias were really mixin.

rebecca johnson.

The other fab artist in the Waiting for Sunshine show is Rebecca Johnson. She was there for chatting too! And has super cool newly hot pink hair, and two cute dogs. “Polite” dogs are welcome there! Only polite ones. No jerk dogs allowed. It’s the rules.

Polite dog, exhibit A.

I have seen Rebecca’s work before and really liked it. There are animals and ladies and flowers and colors…all the things I love most.

The best part is, SOME OF HER ART SPARKLES! I was super into her use of glitter on some past pieces, and the ones at this show had small reflective squares on them.

Upon closer examination, THESE WERE ACTUAL DISCO BALL MIRRORS. Can’t get better than that.

It’s my own conclusion that they’re from disco balls, I didn’t get to confirm with her. Just go with the disco ball thing, it’s fun.

Another thing I didn’t get to ask her about was some of the themes and what they meant for her when she created the art. I noticed a lot of birds (MY FAV) and some references to lungs. I’m personally always thinking about birds, but right now I think EVERYONE is probably thinking about lungs. A little bit, at least once a day. Like, “Can I still breathe? Okay, whew.”

In my mind the lungs were a nod to the scary COVID-19 world we live in right now. Maybe that’s not what they were intended to invoke, but I felt some degree of commiseration in viewing “lungs” as a topic.

She also had a piece that perhaps signified the other ways people can have trouble breathing that leads to death. Like from police brutality. Because a cop’s knee is on their neck. And they can’t breathe. I thought it was a beautiful tribute, and yet another important reminder to do better and fight to force others to do better as well.

waiting for sunshine.

This is a great show! A great reason to leave the house! An awesome local business that is excelling at social distancing and sanitation practices! What more could you ask for?!

Waiting for Sunshine will be on display until July 18. Deep Space Gallery is located at 77 Corneilson Ave in YOU GUESSED IT, the beautiful Jersey City, NJ. Reservations can be made by sending a DM (hawt.) to @deepspacejc on Instagram or emailing deepspacejc@gmail.com

Check it out!

This isn’t in the show but it’s down the street and worth a peek as well! I feel like it fits in with the overall vibe?

artist talk with kati vilim and debra lynn manville

I attended an artist talk with Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville at &co in Jersey City last night, and I got PUMPED AF about abstract art.

Our fab pals from Deep Space Gallery hosted the artist talk. Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville, along with two other artists, are in a show at Deep Space Gallery RIGHT. NOW. The show is called “Circle the Square.” Look it up. I can’t do everything for you.

(JK here is the link)

Snacks!

You may or may not know that the last time I went to an artist talk hosted by Deep Space Gallery I felt excited and elated and exuberant during and after. BEFORE the talk I did not know what to expect. But during and after I was like WOO!

So this time around, for the artist talk with Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville, I knew what was coming and I knew I was gonna LOVE IT. First of all, &co is a delightful space in which to spend an evening. It’s just adorable. Or maybe not “adorable” but like…I LOVE IT. Last night they had strawberry and cucumber infused water like can you even believe it?! It was delicious.

But most importantly, I really, really enjoy learning more about the artists’ process and how they made certain pieces and what they’re made out of and why they made them, even if they don’t really have a reason, and on and on and on. I could listen forever and really love their stories. During the talk I furiously wrote a ton of notes about things to look up later. Some of these things will pop up below HOPEFULLY. If I have time to look them up and don’t fall asleep on my couch before I do.

JK I never accidentally “fall asleep on the couch” that is for losers.

Now for the art!

kati vilim.

Both artists spoke about some art terms I didn’t know and was glad to learn because I miss going school and learning every single day and sometimes I cry about it.

Kati talked about non-representational art, non-referential art, and generative art.

My biggest takeaway from this was that generative art is made with the assistance of robots. And that’s sick as hell.

She also shared some thoughts about abstract art like, “Abstraction is part of our every day life,” and suggested that we look at abstract art without trying to figure it out and talk about it because, “When we verbalize an experience, we take the feeling away from that experience.” I am here for these vibes.

One of the really great (in my opinion) things she talked about was how art has its own language and anyone in the world that speaks any language can understand the language of art and feel the feeling the artist is hoping to convey. Awwww! It’s a small world…it’s an art world!

Okay sorry got too excited there.

Some of my favorite works she showed were made with an iPad, a mix of manual lines she drew and images that were generated with the help of a computer program. There were permutations involved (which is MATH) so it made me a little nervous and I felt shaken up when I heard the word “permutations” but it was okay don’t worry. It was generative art! With robots! I didn’t get any pics of those because I was in the zone staring at them and I’m not sorry.

debra lynn manville.

Up next was Debra. She had some interesting back stories for her art and told her tales in a funny and charmingly self deprecating way.

Much of her art in the show at Deep Space references the idea of a “Twin Flame,”and was inspired by a past relationship. Most of the pieces have doubles of the same image/figure.

In the beginning of her art career, she was making collages and moved on to painting. But she eventually experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts and started to have visions she couldn’t keep up with using that medium.

She looked to Instagram (MY FAV) for inspiration and to connect with other artists. “Instagram was a great place to talk to people and get the support of other artists,” OH HELL YEAH DEBRA. The @1milliondiamonds Instagram account was born from this need to connect and be inspired. And it’s a badass curatorial project if I ever saw one, you guys.

Debra also brought up the idea that art is a language, but took it one step further and suggested that art as a language is also separated into different dialects. She showed some examples from 1 million diamonds where similar artists consistently liked each other’s work. As in, they recognized the style as their language and gave it a like because they were like, “Yeah! We speak the same language!”

I thought that was super interesting because I love languages but this is like a language without words and then my head exploded.

detroit.

To me it’s worth mentioning that both artists spoke about Detroit. Kati did some work with ArtBlock, and Debra had a 3 month residency at Red Bull House of Arts.

I’ve only been to Detroit once but I love it forever and want to go back. And I just wanted to talk about it here and give it a little hug. K that’s it.

circle the square closing reception.

The closing reception for Circle the Square is this Saturday, 2/29 from 6-11pm. Deep Space Gallery is located at 77 Cornelison Ave in Jersey City. It’s a party and it’s fun and there’s art and fun people and also a DJ. You can also find some wares downstairs from Xtina. YOU REALLY CAN HAVE IT ALL. GO TO THERE.

Coming soon!

circle the square at deep space gallery.

Last night was a new opening at Deep Space Gallery YESSSSS. The show is called Circle the Square and it features work by Orlando Reyes, George Goodridge, Kati Vilim, and Debra Lynn Manville.

You guys know I love this place and there aren’t many ways to express my love in which I haven’t expressed it already BUT I was feeling some extra great vibes last night. I feel ew AF that I just said “vibes” but I guess that’s the only word for it unless I invent a new one. I saw some people I know and was glad to see them and talked to some nice new folks as well.

Part of what I really like about Deep Space Gallery, and I’ve said this before, is that it just always feels so welcoming and anyone that works there or goes there or is drinking a plastic cup of wine there is so friendly and open. It’s a magic place.

I wished that I could stay longer and drink wine because it felt like the electric possibility of making new pals was in the air. I don’t know WHY, I just FELT IT, okay? But I’m trying not to drink during the week so that didn’t happen. I’m sorry.

There were Valentine’s Day cupcakes that I DID eat. Because there is no chance in the world that I wouldn’t eat treats that are made available to me.

Now for the art!

orlando reyes.

THE COLORSSSSSS. You know I never shut up about the colors and I’m going to keep going on loving the colors and not shutting up about them forever and ever until I die. And you can pry the colors from my cold dead hands.

So deal with it.

These were all different colors but they all went together well and looked bright and happy and there were a lot of circular shapes (Circle the Square at Deep Space Gallery).

My friend told me she told the artist that she thought they looked like placenta paintings. And in a way they kind of do.

Then things went off the rails and everyone was talking about lactation and I’m still not sure why.

But it was a grand time and I love the paintings. I’m not sure how these shapes are made. It seems like some kind of chemical reaction or something but that’s merely speculation.

george goodridge.

Ooooo yeahhhh these were shapes. Well the ones I liked best were 3D shapes on the wall and on a little pedestal table.

This shade of blue was so strikingly bright against the white wall I couldn’t stop staring at it. Just stood there and stared like a weirdo for probably too long.

This one made me think of a woman but also a peacock. Is it a woman? Is it a peacock? Lady peacocks don’t have the feathers like the peacocks you see in your mind, only the males do. So maybe she’s a lady human and also a male peacock. Honestly I can’t say. I AM an ornithologist though. In my dreams.

THESE LOOK LIKE RAINBOWS AND I WANT TO BE NEXT TO THEM.

kati vilim.

I liked these and I was trying to figure out how they were made because it looked like a thick tape and paint but I could be way off.

There were a couple that were other colors and not just gray and I don’t know why I didn’t get pictures of those. But I will say that these gray ones actually stood out because everything else was colorful! Sometimes I like gray. This was one of those times.

Also there was THIS one that said it was called “Confluence” and I was like “Heyyyy any Pittsburgh fans in the house?” And everyone was like, “Um what?” And I was like, “Sry nvm.” JK I actually only said that to myself in my head but I do love the golden triangle thx. And also this painting.

debra lynn manville.

To me this one looked like toucans. I don’t really know why but I do know that I love toucans and therefore I love this painting.

I have one thought about this one and that is “OMG YELLOW!” Just like, lovin yellow. Nbd.

All of these pieces were lovely and sturdily sized squares and would be perfect for a living room or like over your bed. I’m not professional at where things would look good in your house or whatever but I just think that would be fab if that’s what you’re into.

I’m so impressed with how different the space looks at every show that I go to. It’s not very big at all but they can do a lot of dynamic things with it….or maybe it just looks totally different because the art is different. But either way I’m impressed.

My exit from these openings is always quick and random because I feel awkward saying bye and it almost feels like a game now. Like, how can I best slip out unnoticed?! I think I did a good job last night. Don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Circle the Square at Deep Space Gallery is happening now! Until February 29. GO TO THERE. K THX.

the gigantic miniature show at deep space gallery.

On Sunday I went to the re-launch of the Gigantic Minature Show at Deep Space Gallery and it was BAD. ASS.

You may be aware that I love Deep Space Gallery. It is legit the best. I was feeling sad because I haven’t been able to make it to a show or opening there since the fall! It was an outrage! I missed it a lot! So I was glad to go back and see what they’ve been up to.

The Gigantic Minature Show at Deep Space Gallery is something they’ve been doing yearly for the last couple of years and personally I think it’s great. It’s a bunch of smaller pieces by a bunch of artists and the work fills up the walls in the gallery and in the entry area and all the little nooks all over the place and everything is for sale and it’s really cool.

Part of what’s cool about this show, and Deep Space Gallery overall, is that the pieces are small and affordable and everyone gets a chance to own a piece of art and be a collector! To use one of my favorite words/ideas/concepts of the modern world – it “democratizes” art. THANK YOU FOR DEMOCRATIZING ART, DEEP SPACE. YOU DA MAN.

As usual the space of deep was very welcoming and they had wine and snacks from Frankie. The eponymous Frankie herself was even there! She’s a little doggy that prefers to experience the world while riding in a tote bag and it’s adorable.

I made oatmeal raisin cookies and brought some to share, and I was PUMPED to see that people enjoyed them! Baking is relaxing and also makes other people glad so I think it’s a win-win on that hobby.

Live footage of cookies.

There’s been some trouble in shan land as far as having a cold for like two weeks so it took a lot of riling myself up to get out of the house on Sunday and I was really glad I went. Did you know that “malaise” is a cold symptom? Because I feel MALAISED AF.

Now for some art! And my personal opinions of said art at the Gigantic Miniature Show at Deep Space Gallery.

Norm Kirby – @normkirby

These are some cool hanging wire sculptures. I’m not super into any of these particular depicted images but I really like the wire stuff he makes and I thought these were displayed in an interesting way by the window. I liked the reflections!

Talita Cabral and Alex Tea – @taacabral_ and @alextea.alextea

I like this one because it has elements of nature AND IT IS GOOOOOLD.

Alexis Kandra – @kandra_art

Alexis Kandra has a whole wall of these cute little animal paintings of all kinds of animals, real and mythical. I of course love the unicorns and the phoenixes but the blue parakeet is my most fav. You can’t really tell in this photo but most of them have a little gold detail as well.

Catherine Hart – @catherinewhart

This gal has many pieces around the town and I enjoy them all. THE BRIGHT COLORSSSSS.

Keith Garcia – @bel_biv_devoe_1

I love what this dude does but I don’t really know why. I can’t put my finger on why I love it and that’s kind of mysterious to me and makes me love it more. Maybe it’s something about the MAC machines? I did think money grew in MAC machines as a kid. And that it was unlimited. I still wish that was true every day.

He also made this lazy looking rodent-like painting and I know why I like this one. BECAUSE IT’S AN ANIMAL MAKING A LAZY FACE AND IT’S BRIGHT GREEN.

Ekaterina Popova – @katerinaspopova

HEY HI COOL LAST NAME IT’S LIKE MINE BUT WITH MORE FUN AT THE END! Also I adore this dreamy color palette. It’s always all about the colors for me. Did I already say that? Too bad.

Ru8icon1 – @ru8icon1

I love some ru8icon1! The one on the top was called “Vega” which I believe refers to a Chevy Vega which was my moms first car that she talks about kind of strangely a lot. But it spoke to me.

Macauley Norman – @macauleynorman

This was killin me and made me lol. I stared at it, and thought about it, and was like “Is that the lady from that Netflix documentary?!” And it was. And I laughed. Thank you for this laughter, Macauley Norman.

Joe Lotto – @joe.lotto

I love this, for the colors, the simplicity, AND THE DOGS. I recommend following him on Instagram and watching his stories because he posts videos of him hand painting/lettering and it is mesmerizing/soothing to watch his steady hand forming perfect letters. It’s self care and you deserve it.

Last, I loved that they had a little “graveyard” set up of the description cards from sold pieces. It felt like a nice positive “wahoo good job!” to the artists. I liked it. I already said I loved it but I also liked it. Maybe “graveyard” seems too morbid but that’s what I’m calling it.

Close up of sold art “graveyard.”

The Gigangic Mjnkatjre show is at Deep Space Gallery until February 5! Go check it out!

AND THEN they have a new show opening on February 13! It’s gonna rock. I know it.

artist talk with ru8icon1

Omg I loved this artist talk.

As I usually do when I share my thoughts on art I will preface this by saying I’m no expert on art and pretty much just an onlooker but art is made for onlooking SO WHO’S THE EXPERT NOW?!

This talk was held at &co in downtown Jersey City, of which I have heard great things but have never experienced these things for myself. But It was in fact great! When you walk into the lobby it smells so nice. I can’t describe the smell besides that it smells like Kanibal and I love Kanibal so I instantly loved it here.

Lovin it at &co

It’s next door to Kanibal in the same building. DOES THIS WHOLE BUILDING SMELL LIKE THIS WHAT IS GOING ON?!

The gals at the desk downstairs and the desk upstairs greeting people were very friendly and since I always feel super awkward walking into new buildings I was grateful for this. I was also offered a day pass which I forgot to take DAMMIT so now I have to go back for another event or something to secure this day pass because it seemed like a super cool place to hang out and get some work done.

Cool wood door handle?!

But also there was art! They had a bunch of Ru8icon1’s art up there and also a mural he made of a goldfish that matches one of the paintings I saw at his show at Deep Space a couple of weeks ago. He said he just made the mural recently and I thought it looked BADASS.

Hi fishy.

They also had some other art around that I’ve seen at Deep Space I recognized like Keith Garcia and Kilroy Savage and I was glad to see it. It was like seeing some old pals and I liked that feeling. Maybe I know something about art?!

Keith Garcia

Speaking of pals the Deep Space crew was there to oversee things and be gracious hosts and also sell T-shirt’s and other sweet merch and I got a bright yellow T-shirt and I can’t wait to wear it.

Oh look the Deep Space crew are in this magazine too!

Snackies and wine/beer were provided by Frankie but I got there too late for the snackies and I was sad. I love the dips and bread things that Frankie does. Their bread for dipping is different than all bread anywhere else in town and I don’t know if it’s Australian or if it’s just special but either way I love it and I’m sad I missed out. It was my fault! For having a job. Where I work until 7pm. I’m sorry snackies. I did have a beer served in a can which is my 100% favorite way to be served beer so that was a real highlight.

Beer.

Now for the talk! Ru8icon1 took us through a fascinating and enlightening presentation and slideshow of some of his work over the last 5 years. I’m not being rude with these sassy adjectives it actually was really interesting and he was a skilled and comfortable/casual/conversational public speaker/storyteller and kept things moving at just the right pace so high fives to him.

First slide, gal with a goldfish balloon! I like the use of the goldfish obviously because I love animals and any reference to any animal in any piece of art. He even mentioned, “Animals are always a great stand in for people because we associate certain characteristics with them.” Like tigers are fierce, mice are meek, etc. AND I FELT SEEN AF.

Gal with goldfish balloon.

He talked a little bit about why he was inspired to use the goldfish in some of his work and mentioned that keeping and watching goldfish is peaceful. I thought about that for a second and was like omg I never thought about that. Looks like I need to get some goldfish in my house ASAP. He also spoke about goldfish as a metaphor, I believe something to do with growing to adapt to their environment. Which, also cool as hell, biologically for the goldfish and metaphorically for the rest of us.

Speaking of creatures there were also quite a few tigers and also roosters in the work he showed. One piece on a wall he showed us a photo of with two roosters back to back said “Acorda/Desperta” and he explained that both mean “wake up” in Portuguese and one is just regular wake up and the other is like “wake up!” In an existensial way or at least that’s how I interpreted it. Also I hope I wrote those words down correctly. Also I loved that one because birds and also two words that mean the same thing but different things. Wowza.

One thing I learned in this talk that I didn’t know about or think about before was the concept of “free walls.” FREE WALLIN YOU GUYS. JK that was rude.

But he talked about how these free walls are available where he resides in Barcelona and street artists can paint on them and then they just get painted over pretty regularly but it’s cool because people use them for practice and to hone their skills and for free. And making these free walls available keeps the street art in a spot where it’s ok to be and no one is bothered and people aren’t doing drastic maneuvers to get to these locations to try to paint stuff and they can just paint and practice in peace.

He showed some of the types of designs he started practicing on these free walls and they were mostly black and white and painted with rollers and in more of a loose style.

In the beginning.

As his style evolved he added more colors and it got a little less loose but it was still loose but in a good way. Loosey goosey, baby.

His current exhibition at Deep Space has a number of paintings that “take a static image and make it dynamic.” There are transparent layers of an object in action and they show different movements of the object. I think that describes it okay? So like a plane landing at the different stages or planes flying or a tiger (a tiger, yesssss) at different spots in the room and since it’s kind of transparent it’s understood to be the same object but just moving around. It’s a fun brain trick and I enjoy it.

This suit man is dynamic!

My most favorite part of his presentation was when he talked about his work with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in North Philly – a “temporary mural laboratory” in the Kensington neighborhood. He mentioned it was something he had been thinking about and would have loved to do, and he happened to be in the right place at the right time to give his “elevator pitch” to the right gal and he was given the opportunity to live in the neighborhood with one of his collaborators for a summer and get to know the neighbors and make some organic, thought provoking, interesting street art based on his experiences. Dubbed #ktownlab, it looked like a really cool project and I was pumped AF that he shared it and his experiences with us.

#ktownlab work

He spoke about meeting people in the neighborhood, befriending the local “wheelie kids” (and painting an awesome mural of them in motion that was originally planned to be horses running on the side of a bodega), homeowners, and drug dealers. Even an art novice like me knows that art does have a way of bringing people together, and there seemed to be a ton of evidence of that in his stories about Kensington.

#ktownlab work

At the end during the Q&A period, he was asked what his ultimate “dream” is, and he talked about wanting to do the #ktownlab experiment in a ton of different neighborhoods that needed it across the world. I THINK THAT SOUNDS BADASS PLZ DO IT.

#ktownlab work near a “shooting gallery” and then I googled that and 😬

He also fielded a question about when his art gets painted over, and how he feels about that. He showed us quite a few paintings that he said were no longer there. A lot of the no longer there ones were in Jersey City, dammit! I should have asked if any still remain. Anyway part of what he said in his answer was “It’s the streets, it’s got its own life.” And I liked that. Also I didn’t like it at the same time because personally I like permanence and structure and being able to rely on shit and I wanted to go look at it but I did like his flippant, cool as a cucumber approach to it. And his acceptance of and apparent peace with inevitable change And I wished that I could accept change in such a way. Perhaps someday my friends.

The closing of his show at Deep Space gallery is tonight, 6pm-10pm, 77 Cornelison Ave in the Happiest Place on Earth (Jersey City!) and he’s going to do his talk/slideshow at 9pm. Don’t miss it! It’s cool!

Tonight! Do it!

I had never been to an “artist talk” like this before last night and I loved it! As I’ve said previously I often have trouble understanding art or making my own thoughts about it unless I have some context or a prompt about what the artist is trying to say, so it was super fun for me to look at his art and hear his ideas and really get my brain wheels turning.

Ugh I miss school so much. Someone pay for me to go to grad school. Thanks.

Do you like artist talks? Do you know of more I can attend?! Let me know!